Customers Rock!

A blog about customers, their experiences, and how businesses can make sure their customer experiences rock!

Posts Tagged ‘Drew McLellan’

Age of Conversation Bum Rush is on Today!

Posted by Becky Carroll on March 29, 2008

ageofconversation-book.jpg Last spring, the first Age of Conversation (AOC) book was put together by a very smart group of bloggers, lead by Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton.  Over 100 bloggers each contributed 400 words on one topic: conversation.  The result was a book highlighting the thinking of a lot of smart people in marketing, PR, and advertising from around the world.  I was fortunate enough to be included in the book.  All book proceeds went to Variety Children’s Charity.

Today, Chris Wilson is hosting an AOC Bum Rush to try and move the book up the charts at Amazon and raise as much money as possible for Variety.

So, if you have been waiting to buy your copy, or if you would like to give it as a thoughtful gift for customers or clients, today is your day to buy it and get the most impact from your money.

Use this link to buy the book at Amazon, then spread the word!  Follow Chris on Twitter or at his blog to watch it move up the charts and benefit Variety.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Posted in Blogging, Book reviews | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Customer Expectations and Loyalty

Posted by Becky Carroll on January 25, 2008

red-carpet-2.jpg I have long been telling clients that they need to look outside of their industry for competitors.  I shared this in a blog post last year:

Do you know who is rocking your customer’s world?  Is your competitor more focused on customers than you are?  Perhaps there isn’t anyone in your industry yet who has a Customers Rock! attitude and strategy.  However, your consumers may be experiencing Nordstrom or Southwest and their great customer service.  Your business clients may be serviced by Pitney Bowes, who have been recognized by Gartner for their excellence in CRM. 

Doug Meacham over at NextUp points out something similar from trendwatching.com’s latest briefing.  In their article on the Expectation Economy, they discuss how the increasing speed of worldwide communication among consumers, along with blogs and other online reviews, is helping to raise the bar on customer expectations in every product or service consumed.  Doug states the following:

“While consumer’s expectations are up and rising, most brands choose to not keep up with the “best of the best”. The result: Informed Consumers are Indifferent or Irritated. The briefing suggests that these states will likely manifest themselves in Fake Loyalty and Postponed Purchases.”

He describes Fake Loyalty as something which is gone as soon as something better (or sometimes cheaper or more convenient) comes along.  Drew McLellan at Drew’s Marketing Minute discussed something similar in his recent post about his dry cleaner.  Drew describes his relationship this way:

“By all impressions — I should be an easy win for another dry cleaners. 

  • I am very dissatisfied with my current provider
  • What they sell is a commodity
  • There is a low cost of entry — doesn’t cost me a lot to switch

Yet, I (so far) am staying put.

I have also called customers who exhibit this Fake Loyalty by another name: “hostages”.  Hostage customers are those who subscribe to cable because it is the only way to get certain channels they want to watch.  Or they are those customers who sign up for a company’s service plan for their machines because no one else (currently) offers service for them.  Or, as in Drew’s case, they stay with a service because it is convenient – until something more convenient comes along (Drew, what if someone offered a service to pick up and drop off your cleaning at your house, for the same price?).

All of this goes back to understanding customer expectations.  We need to begin benchmarking what is going on in our own industry, but also the other industries where our customers do their purchasing of goods and services.  I may be a business customer by day, but by night I experience Amazon or Lands’ End and their fabulous customer service.  As I stated in my previously-quoted blog post,

Customer expectations are set not just by our organizations but also by all the other organizations our customers touch, whether in their personal or business lives.  Do you want to rock your customer’s world?  First, understand their world and who is rocking it.  Then, meet their needs.  Along the way, exceed their expectations.  You will then have the building blocks for a long-term customer relationship.

Which companies are rocking your customer’s world?  If you have been a reader of my blog for some time, you will think of candidates such as Nordstrom, who focuses on people, Southwest Airlines, who is good at engaging customers via their blog, and even The Busy Bunny, who is good at thanking customers.  They are all Customers Rock! companies in one fashion or another. 

Do your customers do business with these companies, or others like them?  If so, now you know more about your customer’s expectations.  If not, you can still learn from these examples as you create your customer strategy to keep and grow business.

(Photo credit: eraxion)

Posted in B2B Marketing, Customer experience, Customer loyalty, Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Customer Service Event and Call for Authors!

Posted by Becky Carroll on January 18, 2008

csitnm_badge.png Customer Service Conference in San Francisco, February 4 

In just two weeks, I am hosting a lunch workshop at the Customer Service is the New Marketing event in San Francisco, CA on Monday, February 4.  I am honored to be on a program also featuring speakers from Zappos, Virgin America, Flickr, Google, and Geek Squad (to name a few).  My blogging friend Doug Hanna from Service Untitled will also be hosting a lunch workshop, along with some other smart folks.

There has been some debate as to whether customer service is the new marketing.  I would say that everyone who is in customer service is also doing marketing, as every touch to the customer counts.  Often, it is these customer touches that make the most impact, as the customer spends more time using a product or service than purchasing it (one hopes!).  Customer service is the face of the company, and organizations that see it as only a cost are missing a trick.

There is still time to register for the conference.  The price is $495 for this fabulous one-day event being held at the gorgeous Presidio in San Francisco.  Customers Rock! readers can get a 15% discount if you use the code CRNT when registering; here is the link

Come to the event, and make sure to say HI to me and tell me you are reading Customers Rock!  I’ll even buy you a drink at the after-event bash.

ageofconversation-book.jpg Call for Authors for Round Two of Age of Conversation

Drew McLellan and Gavin Heaton are at it again.  They are spearheading the effort to create the 2008 edition of the Age of Conversation book.  Over 100 authors from around the world came together to write short essays and raise money for Variety Children’s Charity; not one penny went to any of us.  The book focused on this conversation age and what it means to marketers and businesses.

Some of you expressed disappointment that you missed out on the last book.  Here is your chance!  Just email Drew and let him know you want to participate.  See his post (linked to his name above) to find out the rules.  You can even vote on the topic (on Drew’s blog).

I am going to be in again; come join me!

Update: Here is a list so far of those planning to contribute this year:

Drew McLellan, Luc Debaiseieux, Ryan Karpeles, Greg Verdino, Lori Magno, Gavin Heaton, Connie Reece, The Kaiser, Katie Chatfield, Tim Jackson, Doug Meacham, C.B. Whittemore, Becky Carroll, Gordon Whitehead, Daniel B. Honigman, Daria Rasmussen, Jay Ehret, Jasmin Tragas, Jamey Shiels, Organic Frog, Bill Gammell, Nathan Snell, Stephen Landau, Stephen Collins, Stephen Smith, Mark Earls, Steven Verbruggen, Neil Perkin, Brett Macfarlane, Dino Demopoulos, Chris Wilson, Asi Sharabi, Mike Sansone, Angela Maiers, Sandy Renshaw.

Here is the list of contributors from last year, and many of these are now friends as well.

Gavin Heaton
Drew McLellan
CK
Valeria Maltoni
Emily Reed
Katie Chatfield
Greg Verdino
Mack Collier
Lewis Green
Sacrum
Ann Handley
Mike Sansone
Paul McEnany
Roger von Oech
Anna Farmery
David Armano
Bob Glaza
Mark Goren
Matt Dickman
Scott Monty
Richard Huntington
Cam Beck
David Reich
Luc Debaisieux
Sean Howard
Tim Jackson
Patrick Schaber
Roberta Rosenberg
Uwe Hook
Tony D. Clark
Todd Andrlik
Toby Bloomberg
Steve Woodruff
Steve Bannister
Steve Roesler
Stanley Johnson
Spike Jones
Nathan Snell
Simon Payn
Ryan Rasmussen
Ron Shevlin
Roger Anderson
Robert Hruzek
Rishi Desai
Phil Gerbyshak
Peter Corbett
Pete Deutschman
Nick Rice
Nick Wright
Michael Morton
Mark Earls
Mark Blair
CB Whittemore
Mario Vellandi
Lori Magno
Kristin Gorski
Kris Hoet
G. Kofi Annan
Kimberly Dawn Wells Karl Long
Julie Fleischer
Jordan Behan
John La Grou
Joe Raasch
Jim Kukral
Jessica Hagy
Janet Green
Jamey Shiels
Dr. Graham Hill
Gia Facchini
Geert Desager
Gaurav Mishra
Gary Schoeniger
Gareth Kay
Faris Yakob
Emily Clasper
Ed Cotton
Dustin Jacobsen
Tom Clifford
David Polinchock
David Koopmans
David Brazeal
David Berkowitz
Carolyn Manning
Craig Wilson
Cord Silverstein
Connie Reece
Colin McKay
Chris Newlan
Chris Corrigan
Cedric Giorgi
Brian Reich
Becky Carroll
Arun Rajagopal
Andy Nulman
Amy Jussel
AJ James
Kim Klaver
Sandy Renshaw
Susan Bird
Ryan Barrett
Troy Worman
S. Neil Vineberg

Posted in Blogging, Community, Customer service, Marketing | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »